In the global software entertainment business, Bullfrog productions rates as one of the most successful development houses in the world. Founded in 1987 by Les Edgar and Peter Molyneux, both keen game players, Bullfrog was created as a small group of like-minded game enthusiasts aiming to produce original computer games that offered something a little more cerebral and challenging than many of the simplistic arcade style games available at the time. Bullfrog's first product was just that.
Populous ( has become one of the most famous games in entertainment software history and is credited with creating an entirely new genre of computer game - the 'god game'. The idea was unheard of at the time, and thus Populous was rejected by every major software publisher except one - Electronic Arts. The commercially unproven concept was launched into the unsuspecting gaming community in 1989. Rave reviews, including a simulation of the year award from US science title OMNI Magazine, and sales of over three million units worldwide on 20 different platforms served to bring Bullfrog to an international audience and reward both the team and the foresight of the publisher for their faith and confidence in a revolutionary new title.
Since that time Bullfrog has continued to turn out hit titles that have consistently garnered awards and critical acclaim. In fact, Bullfrog Productions is one of the very few development groups in this industry that can boast such a high success rate. Concentrating on a small number of products but honing the gameplay elements to make each title as original and playable as possible, Bullfrog delighted gamesplayers worldwide with hit after hit - Powermonger, Populous II, Syndicate, Theme Park and Magic Carpet. In addition, 1994 saw Bullfrog being awarded the Small Business Financial Achievement of the Year Award.
In January 1995, to strengthen its global positioning, Bullfrog Productions merged with long time publishing partner Electronic Arts. Playing to the strengths of both organisations, Bullfrog's creative talents coupled with Electronic Arts' resources as a worldwide market leader to produce Syndicate Wars and Theme Hospital - again titles that rose to the top of their respective sales charts. Its most recent title to date, Dungeon Keeper, has also been greeted with rave reviews with scores averaging 95% and was awarded Role Playing Game of the year at the inaugural Academy for Interactive Arts and Science awards.
In August 1997, Bullfrog co-founder, Peter Molyneux, left to establish a new development team, Lionhead Productions (who incidentally, has also signed a distribution deal with Electronic Arts). Whilst Peter was a key player, Bullfrog now numbered some 90 personnel and as Peter himself admitted "one of the good things about me leaving Bullfrog, is that it will allow many of the talented individuals there to start getting the limelight and credit they deserve"
The first title to emerge from the new Bullfrog was, appropriately enough, the third instalment of the game that started it all - Populous. Populous "The Beginning" is the third in the series of 'god-games' that made Bullfrog a household name among gaming enthusiasts. This was followed by Dungeon Keeper 2, the sequel to another Bullfrog chart topper. Although maintaining the Bullfrog track record for originality and revolutionary gameplay, both these titles, took full advantage of the exponential leap in technology that had taken place in the intervening years - and of course, true to the public's expectations, Bullfrog has pushed that technology to the limit.
In July 1997, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, the Right Honourable Tony Blair, wrote an article in the Guardian newspaper entitled 'Britain can remake it'. In this article, Mr. Blair contended that "Innovative products are winning new markets for us. Nine out of ten Formula One cars are designed and built in Britain. Psion personal organisers, Bullfrog electronic games, the Duracell torch… they all demonstrate the breadth of British product design. These people are ambassadors for new Britain. They embody strong British characteristics as valuable to us today as they have ever been: know how, creativity, innovation, risk-taking, and most of all, originality."
In September 1999, Les Edgar changed his role to consultant for Bullfrog Productions Limited, enabling him to pay more equitable attention to his other business interests. Les handed the reins to Bruce McMillan, a leading light in Electronic Arts' Canadian studio. Bruce was responsible for the creation of the FIFA Soccer series, the biggest selling title in EA's portfolio.
Now in its twelfth year, Bullfrog continues to grow from strength to strength. Founded on a basis of a love for games and an interest in the technological possibilities offered by home computing, Bullfrog games will continue to delight and entertain gamesplayers all over the world.